Frankenstein Comparative Essay

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Frankenstein Comparative Essay

Compare the Frankenstein novel with Kenneth Branagh’s film version. Which is the better example of a gothic text?

Gothic texts enable audiences to be immersed in a world of the supernatural involving horror and romance. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, and the film adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh, are both texts that portray the gothic genre. The film may share the same gothic elements as in the novel; however the novel allows the reader to use their own imagination, thus bringing to life this genre. Through the comparison of supernatural events, heightened emotions and the atmosphere of mystery and suspense in both literary mediums of Frankenstein, the differences and similarities will be compared to find the better example of a gothic text.

Most gothic texts have a series of supernatural events that help the progression of the story, yet Frankenstein has only one. This event being the creation of the monster sets the entire story in motion. When comparing the novel and film adaptation, the monster was somewhat made in the same way. Various deceased body parts were sewed together to form the shape of a man, and then the use of an electric element brought the monster to life. However, in the novel the monster’s birth was more archaic compared to the seemingly humorous, clumsy behaviour of the monster’s birth in the film as Victor Frankenstein helped it to its feet. When the monster was ‘born’ the emotions and senses were much more detailed in the novel, since it almost portrayed the monster as being a child that explored and discovered such things as clothes and fire:

“I found a fire which had been left by some wandering beggars, and was overcome with delight at the warmth I experienced from it. In my joy I thrust my hand into the live embers, but quickly drew it out again with a cry of pain. How strange, I thought, that the same cause should produce such opposite effects!” Monster (p.123)

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